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North East India » Nagaland » Festivals » Sekrenyi Festival


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Sekrenyi Festival

Sekrenyi FestivalTime : February.
Venue : Nagaland in India.
Celebrated By : Angami Tribe.
Duration : 10 Days.

The Festival
The festival of Sekrenyi is celebrated in the month of February by the Angamis of Nagaland in India.
Sekrenyi normally falls in the 25th day of the Angami month of "Kezei". This 10 day festival of Sekrenyi is also called Phousnyi by the Angamis.
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The Rituals
The Festival follows a series of ritual and ceremony. The first of the rituals is "Kizie". A few drops of rice water taken from the top of the jug called "Zumho", are put into leaves and placed at the three main posts of the house by the lady of the household.
The first day begins with all young and old men going to the village well to bathe. In the night, two young men go to the well to clean it. After the cleaning of the well, some of the village youth guard the well in the night as no one is allowed to fetch water after cleaning of the well. The womenfolk, especially, are not allowed to touch the well water. Hence, they have to see that water is fetched for the household before the cleaning of the well.

Early the next morning, all the young men of the village rise to take a bathe at the well. The whole process is carried out in a ceremonial manner. The young men will don two new shawls (the white Mhoushü and the black Lohe) and sprinkle water on their breast, knees and on their right arm. This ceremony is called "Dzuseva" (touching the sleeping water) and it assures them that all their ills and misfortunes have been washed away by the purified well water. When they return from the well, a cock is sacrificed by throttling it with bare hands. It is taken as a good omen when the right leg falls down. The innards of the fowl are taken out and hung outside the house for the village elders to come and inspect it. Beginning from the fourth day of the festival, a three-day session of singing and feasting begins.

The Most Important Part of the Festival
The Thekra Hie is the best part of the festival where the young people of the village sit together and sing traditional songs throughout the day. Jugs of rice beer and plates of meat are placed before the participants. On the seventh day, the young men go for hunting. The most important ceremony falls on the eighth day, when the bridge-pulling or gate-pulling is performed, or inter-village visits are exchanged. Until the close of the festival, no one goes to the fields and all field works cease during this season of feasting and song.

The young unmarried girls with closely shaven heads sit down with the bronzed youth and sing tuned of past ages, recreating past where no care touched the human soul.
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